Arrive on your own into Haines, AK by 2pm. You can take the Alaska Marine Highway ferry or a regional flight on Alaska Seaplanes or Harris Air from Juneau, Alaska. After checking into our hotel, we have some time to explore the small coastal community of Haines. We meet near the hotel for a bike fitting and orientation in the late afternoon, followed by dinner at a local restaurant. Dinner included.
After breakfast we hop on our bikes and ride along the glacier-fed Chilkat River along the Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve. We stop for lunch near the village of Klukwan and visit the Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Center on the banks of the Chilkat River. The center preserves the history and language of the Tlingit tribe, who have lived in the area for more than 10,000 years. We tour the center and have lunch on the grounds. From there, it?s just 6 miles to our lodging for the evening. A popular lodge for heli-skiers in the winter, the lodge has amenities like a sauna and espresso bar, and is one of the last lodging options for roughly 100 miles. All meals included.
Cycling: 28 miles, Elevation gain/loss +1,189? / -1,029?
Grab your passports this morning before we begin the long, winding route on the Haines Highway up the Three Guardsmen and Chilkat passes. At about 3,500' we reach the top of the tree line and enter a large wilderness area encompassing National and Provincial Parks on both sides of the US/Canada border. Just fifty miles from the coast, the scenery quickly transitions from temperate rainforest to alpine tundra and snow-capped peaks. We see trumpeter swans, and a myriad of other wildlife along the way. This evening is our first overnight at a rustic campground. It's called Million Dollar Falls, and you'll want to take a short stroll to see the falls after relaxing around camp a bit. No showers tonight but a campsite wash-up is provided. Passports required. All meals included
Cycling: 66 miles, Elevation gain/loss +5,078? / -2,685?
Today we bike through Kluane National Park, a land of majestic wilderness, mountains, expansive lakes and open vistas. The park is home to Canada?s highest (and North America?s second highest) peak, Mount Logan (19,551?). With a little luck we'll see grizzly bears, Dall sheep, and mountain goats. Tonight we sleep at a quaint B&B with individual cabins near Haines Junction. All meals included.
Cycling: 37 miles, Elevation gain/loss +2,756? / -2,731?
Tonight?s campsite is at a native cultural site near the historic trading post of Champagne, an important meeting and trading place for the Champagne and Aishihik Indigenous peoples in Canada, and a Gold Rush stopover on the trail to Dawson City. We take a unique and inspiring cultural tour of a recreated First Nations village at Long Ago Peoples Place before settling down for the evening. No showers, but running water is available. All meals included.
Cycling: 60 miles, Elevation gain/loss:: +3,265? / -3,519?
This morning we continue southeast towards the Yukon River through forested areas, crossing several tributaries as we pedal into the capital of the Yukon Territory, Whitehorse. Whitehorse became a temporary stopping point, then a permanent settlement for prospectors during the Klondike Gold Rush. Now, Whitehorse is a city of 25,000 hardy folks living on the banks of the mighty Yukon River. We'll spend two nights here, and evening meals are on your own?our guides can offer some excellent recommendations nearby. Breakfast and lunch included.
Cycling: 54 miles, Elevation gain/loss +2,174? / -2,399?
A day to catch your breath or keep the activity coming. You could mountain bike some local trails, take our van shuttle to the Takhini Hot Springs, explore local shops and museums, take a walking river trail tour, or maybe a canoe trip. You can also just kick back, relax, and enjoy the town of Whitehorse. Our guides will provide a list of activities available. Breakfast and lunch are on your own, as we don?t want to intrude on your rest day. Dinner included.
An early start today gets us moving southeast along the ALCAN Highway before we turn south to head back to the US (but not today!). As we ride along the Klondike Highway the coastal mountains beckon to us again. Today we'll cross the Carcross Desert, but it's perhaps the smallest desert in the world at just 640 acres, so we should be able to manage it! Formerly the bed of a Pleistocene glacial lake, it remains arid due to the rain shadow effects of the surrounding mountains. We?ll stop for lunch in the small community of Carcross where the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad ends. Our final night of camping is just outside of Carcross. No showers tonight, but a campsite wash-up is provided. All meals included.
Cycling: 55 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +3,110? / -2,800?
Today we re-enter the US on the last riding day of our epic journey. After leaving the Yukon and re-entering British Columbia, the coastal mountains rise around us as we bike towards the historic White Pass down to the coast. We pass dozens of alpine lakes and watch the terrain become more mountainous as we cycle upward toward the pass. A narrow gap leads us to the Canada/US border checkpoint, followed by a thrilling 15-mile descent to the coastal town of Skagway, AK. Take some time to relax at our overnight accommodations, and enjoy the sights and sounds of this colorful town. We share a celebratory meal as our time together draws to a close. All meals included.
Cycling: 55 miles, Elevation gain/loss +3,337? / -5,687?
This final morning is on your own. A buffet breakfast is included with the hotel, as is a shuttle to the ferry terminal or airport for your departure from Skagway. Breakfast included.